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Annotated works

MANDIJN (or Mandyn), Jan

(Haarlem, The Netherlands, 1502-Antwerp, Belgium, 1560)

Burlesque Feast

Oil on oak panel

98,5 x 147 cm

c. 1550

Renaissance and Mannierism (16th Century - Early 17th Century)

N.° inv. 69/168

Bequeathed by Laureano de Jado in 1927


MANDIJN (or Mandyn), Jan on Online collection

This motley banquet is a satirical depiction of a peasant wedding to which a number of guests have been invited, all equally bizarre and absurd. The scene, packed with anecdotes and symbols, unfolds in an interior in which the guests, following mediaeval custom, are seated at one side only of the tables, according to their rank. The main character is a stout and slovenly bride wearing a crown of wooden spoons, the symbol of gluttony, and eggshells, the symbol of crassitude and lechery. Behind her a red drapery is vaulted like a baldachin on which rests a crown of laurel, both of which were customary elements in Flemish peasant weddings of the 16th and 17th centuries, while the rattle hanging from the crown of laurel is another reference to foolishness.

The motif of this painting mirrors the mediaeval literature of the Netherlands, where the peasant class was the butt of jokes and satire. In the 16th century the term 'peasant' was synonymous with 'fool', and therefore works depicting reprehensible actions by classes considered to be inferior by the bourgeoisie had a moralistic quality. This painting belonged to the marquis of Leganés, who possessed one of the largest art collections in 17th-century Europe and who attributed it to Hieronymus Bosch.

There is scarce information on Jan Mandijn's biography. He apparently trained in his hometown before settling in Antwerp in 1530, where he would remain until his death and where he took part in the decoration of the triumphal arches raised on the occasion of the entrance of Philip II in the city in 1549. Alongside Peter Huys and Jan Verbeeck, Mandijn belonged to a group of painters characterised by their taste for burlesque themes. Mandijn sought inspiration in Bosch's painting to give free rein to his fantasy, acquiring a reputation as a "maker of mischievous and outrageous scenes".  [A.S.L.]

Selected bibliography:

L'art Flamand dans les Collections Espagnoles. Bruges : Les Presses Saint Augustin, 1958, p. 94, n.º 69.

Paul Vandenbroeck. "Verbeeck's peasant weddings : a study of iconography and social function"en Netherlands quarterly for the history of Art, n.º 14, 1984, pp. 79-124, il. 7.

Xesqui Castañer; Xose Manuel Buxan ; Aurora Suarez. "Las formas artísticas de los siglos XV, XVI y XVII en el Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao"en Kobie : bellas artes, n.º 6. Bilbao : Diputación Foral de Bizkaia = Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia, 1989, p. 237.

Walter S. Gibson.Simiolus: Netherlands quarterly forterlyfor the history of Art. vol. XXI. Verbeeck's grotesque wedding feasts: some reconsiderations.1992, p.30.

David R. Smith. "Inversion, revolution, and the carnivalesque in the Rembrandt's Civilis", en Antropology and Aesthetics, n.º 27, 1995, pp. 89-110, il. 17.

Xesqui Castañer. Pinturas y pintores flamencos, holandeses y alemanes en el Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. Bilbao : Fundación Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa, 1995, pp. 131-134.

Maestros antiguos y modernos en las colecciones del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2001, p.29.

Ana Sánchez-Lassa de los Santos; Maite Rodríguez Torres. "Le festín Burlesque de Jan Mandijn" en Jérôme Bosch et son entourage et autres études : le dessin sous-jacent et la technologies dans la peinture .Colloque XIV [ Bruges, 13-15 de septiembre de 2001]. Leuven; París; Dudley : Uitgeverij Peeters, 2003.

Ricardo García Cárcel. "Los rostros ocultos de la historia de España"en Círculo, n.º 204, 2004, pp. 50-51.

Julio Valles Rojo. Cocina y alimentación en los siglos XVI y XVII. Valladolid : Junta de Castilla y León, 2007, pp. 144 y 458.

Todd M. Richardson. Pieter Bruegel the Elder: art discourse in the sixteenth-century Netherlands. Farnham (United Kingdom) : Ashgate, 2011, p. 88.

Ana Sánchez- Lassa de los Santos. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : guía. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2011 (1ª ed. 2006; ed. inglés; ed. francés; ed. euskera), p. 35, n.º 21, ad vocem.

Annotated works